MALAY, Aklan–The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan voted on February 8, 2021, after due deliberation to endorse to the House of the Representatives a municipal council resolution for the proposed cityhood of this town.
The board members supported the call, citing in Resolution No. 004 the importance of upgrading the first-class town into a component city in terms of delivery of public services and development of mainland Malay and Boracay Island.
The town of Malay also urged Aklan 2nd District Rep. Teodorico Haresco to file a bill in Congress in the upcoming legislative session for the component city conversion.
SP member Esel Flores said Malay has been able to sustain its tax collection of over P169 million for two years from 2018, exceeding the thresholds prescribed under existing laws.
The average annual income is based on the Statement of Receipt and Expenditures submitted by the Municipal Treasurer of Malay, Aklan, and computed using the 2000 constant prices and in accordance with Department Order No. 031-2018 issued by the Secretary of Finance.
According to Flores, the high-income municipality is also qualified for conversion into a component city regardless of its population or land area.
“Last October 2020, the Land Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources certified that Malay, Aklan is composed of more than one island, hence, exempt from the land area requirement of Republic Act 9009.”
Cityhood advocates have been saying political and socio-economic development would accelerate if the first-class municipality of Malay, Aklan were converted into a component city.
To note, a component city gets a bigger share of the Internal Revenue Allotment and greater autonomy although, in this case, even if Malay—a town of nearly 53,000 inhabitants–is converted into a city, it would remain part of the province of Aklan.
Section 450 of Republic Act No. 7160 as amended by RA 9009, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, states a municipality may be converted into a component city if it has had a locally generated average annual income of P100,000 for the last two consecutive years as certified by the Department of Finance, a contiguous territory of at least 100 square kilometers, and a population of not less than 150,000 inhabitants.
The requirement on the land area is not applicable where the city proposed to be created is composed of one or more islands; the territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two or more islands./(Boy Ryan Zabal/INews-Aklan/Boracay Bureau)